Re: Draft of Proposal for the GNOME Foundation.

Alan Cox <> writes:

> >     GNOME is Free Software
> >     ----------------------
> > 
> >        Free software  licensing has always been  a mainstay  of GNOME,
> >        and we must     ensure that this   tradition  continues.    The
> >        foundation must not allow any software module  to become a core
> >        GNOME  component unless  it  is licensed   under the GPL,  or a
> >        GPL-compatible license.  GNOME should strive  to be free, while
> So you wont be using the bonobo mozilla component idea any more ?

If that language is going to hold, then we could use the Bonobo
mozilla component, but it could never be considered a core part of

> >     Public Image and Voice
> >     -----------------------
> > 
> >        The foundation will be the sole entity with the ability to make
> >        official  public statements for GNOME,  such as press releases.
> Whuich foundation the US one or the european one ?

The virtual global superentity.  The local ones are just for
redirecting cash.

> >        The foundation will   also be responsible for   maintaining the
> >        "GNOME brand," and will have  to determine the appropriate uses
> >        of  the   associated trademarks    (which   will  need    to be
> Probably too late. Also if you think about it you cant do much with
> a trademark on a GPL project since any attempt to stop people using
> it for anything Gnome related whether you like it or not would seem
> to violate GPL 'no additional restriction' things. Fun isnt it. The
> GPL is a trademark policeman by magic.

Two issues here:

1. Administering a GNOME "brand"/trademark.  You are probably right
   that we're too late to secure the GNOME trademark, although I'd say
   there's not a zero chance.  But in any case, whether or not we
   actually have a trademark under our control, the notion is that the
   GF will have the sole ability to say "Official GNOME XYZ."

2. The GPL and Trademarks.  This is not exactly 100% simple, you're
   right.  I defer to Richard, but since we're a company that uses
   trademarks, and since we write GPL'd software, I did spend some
   lawyer time on this.  Here's an excerpt of a mail I sent to one of
   our mailing lists about this recently:

-- snip here --

... you're dealing with a situation which appears to be a licensing
conflict: you have a GPL'd application which incoprates some piece of
data (the logo) which is licensed under considerably more restrictive
terms.  Also, you're trying to optimize for two things: maximum
redistributability of the software, and maximum defensibility of the

Now, the only way to do this in a way which fully covers both bases

    1. Do *not* compile the logo into the application, especially not
       statically.  Load the image from a separate file.  Make sure
       that none of the routines which load the image have the name
       "load_company_x_logo" in them, or anything like that; for
       maximum protection, name the function something generic, so
       that the logo image is just a drop-in and could be anything.

    2. The software itself (minus the logo file) is licensed under,
       say, the GPL.  And so you must ship a license statement with
       the software, always.  The logo must be licensed under
       different terms.  Since the logo is intellectual property which
       we own, and it's being licensed, we should ship a license
       statement with that, too.

-- snip here --

So the point is that, even though you may GPL the code, you may not be
GPLing the whole code + trademarks combination.

In any case, we're probably screwed with the GNOME stuff anyways --
and not that that's bad!  Having a GPL'd logo for GNOME is cool.  The
excerpt above is about a different situation -- a corporate logo --
which, I hope you can understand, we would not want to GPL.

Ok, returning to the topic...

> >   Board of Directors,  and the Organizational  Forum  (Yeah, the names
> >   are a bit corny.  Suggestions welcome.).
> I suppose "them" "us" and "red tape" is out :)


> >     The general   membership will have two  responsibilities: electing
> >     and deposing  members  of  the  Board of  Directors,  and  issuing
> >     popular  referenda   on any issue  under   the jurisdiction of the
> >     foundation, at any time (hopefully an infrequent event).
> Make this hard or it'll turn into debian discuss 

Yeah, it's pretty obvious we need some kind of barrier here, as has
been discussed.  Approval by module maintainers is one idea I had
(which creates an interesting regenerative system of checks and
balances, incidentally).

> [Need a statement of what happens if a referendum requires the board act
>  in a manner inconsistent with applicable law]

the referendum should have been stillborn. 

> >   may be formed to  propose a release  schedule, a press release, or a
> >   standards specification.  The board will vote on the approval of any
> >   such measure.
> [within timescale, appeal]

Good point, I forgot to put that in.

> >     This can  be  cryptographically authenticated  with  a registry of
> >     public   keys.   A simple majority   is   required to  approve any
> >     measure.
> (Traditionally your base constitution requires 2/3rds majority so that its
>  hard to change the fundamental house rules)

I figured we'd go into this with a base constitution, but there may be
other exceptions.

> >     2. How do we determine the size of  the board?  Does it make sense
> >        to expand this thing with    the project?  To some extent,   it
> Simple. It has to be less than 7 people. If you dont understand why read
> a good book on how people work in groups 8)

Ok, you're absolutely right :-).  Limit the size.


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